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How 401(k) advisers can create effective financial wellness programs

May 21, 2017

For all the buzz employer financial wellness programs are receiving, they may be short-lived. When our team at Duke University's Common Cents Lab evaluates financial wellness programs, we focus on one key area: Is the program using proven methods...

What plan sponsors look for in a 401(k) adviser

May 21, 2017

They aren't dissatisfied, but plan sponsors want more from their advisers. A recent survey of plan sponsors by the National Association of Plan Advisors and The Plan Sponsor University found 53% are satisfied with their adviser and 55% are satisfied...

Advisers struggle to get 401(k) plan, participant data from record keepers

May 21, 2017

There is a fight brewing between defined contribution record keepers and advisers over access to plan and participant data which could determine the fate of retirement security for Americans. Without access to plan and participant data, advisers,...

Retirement plan advisers turning to RIA aggregators to build practices

May 21, 2017

Some retirement plan advisers are turning to so-called "RIA aggregators" that focus on the defined contribution market to help them build their practices, the primary allure being the scale and support afforded by a large, like-minded adviser...

Plan advisers give stable value gets another look

May 20, 2017

Ever since the SEC upgraded its rules for money-market funds last fall, retirement plan advisers have been giving stable value funds a second look. By mandating that nongovernment money funds introduce special fees, redemption restrictions and...

How 401(k) advisers can bullet-proof themselves against litigation risk under DOL fiduciary rule

May 20, 2017

Many advisers who service 401(k) plans will, for the first time, be considered fiduciaries with respect to their investment advice when the Labor Department's conflict-of-interest rule comes into force next month. Along with that heightened...

Use of multiple record keepers could hurt defendants in 403(b) lawsuits

May 19, 2017

Judges in lawsuits targeting the Duke University and Emory University retirement plans have given life to a novel claim against the universities' use of multiple record keepers, setting the stage for a potential legal blow to a common practice...

Guess who's saving the most: Millennials

May 19, 2017

One-third of millennials are saving 20% or more of their salaries and they are putting financial freedom ahead of retirement savings as their goal, according to a new survey. Sixty-three percent of millennials (18-34 years old) are looking to...

President Trump signs resolution killing state auto-IRA rule

May 18, 2017

President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday evening signed a joint resolution killing an Obama-era regulation that encouraged states to set up retirement plans known as auto-IRAs. The Senate passed the resolution, H.J. Res. 66, on May 3. The House...

401(k) managed account competition heats up as Fidelity expands reach

May 17, 2017

Fidelity Investments, the largest provider of defined contribution plans, is moving to expand the reach of its fiduciary managed-account service for retirement plan participants by making it available to record-keeping platforms outside of its...

Courts' interpretations of 401(k) fiduciary laws are changing

May 16, 2017

It appears that laws of fiduciary prudence under ERISA are evolving. A recent district court decision, in Lorenz v. Safeway, demonstrates this point. "What is good for the goose is good for the gander" is not a common legal maxim, but the District...

Why rich retirees are so reluctant to spend their money

May 16, 2017

There's a time in everyone's life to save. There's also a time when you're supposed to spend. That time is commonly known as retirement. Millions of Americans aren't doing that, however, which has put the U.S. in a perverse situation. Younger...

Social Security Administration steps up online security

May 15, 2017

Here we go again. The Social Security Administration announced that, beginning June 10, users of the agency's online services will need a one-time code to log into My Social Security accounts, which provide access to personal benefit estimates...

Fidelity's approach to DOL fiduciary rule rankles some 401(k) advisers

May 15, 2017

Fidelity Investments is aggravating some retirement plan advisers. Their ire stems from changes that Fidelity, the largest record keeper of defined-contribution plans, is making to its business in relation to compliance with the Labor Department's...

Auto features are helping to fuel 401(k) growth

May 12, 2017

Automation, that demon of American job security, may be the patron saint of retirement savings. The average balance in a 401(k) defined-contribution account at Fidelity Investments hit a record $95,500 in the first quarter, up more than 9% from...

5 costly inherited IRA mistakes

May 12, 2017

Inherited individual retirement account mistakes are expensive and often fatal, meaning they cannot be fixed like some other IRA mistakes can. Advisers should have their antennas up when an IRA owner dies and leaves the IRA to a non-spouse beneficiary,...

TIAA to pay $5M in 401(k) excessive-fee suit

May 12, 2017

TIAA agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the firm breached its fiduciary responsibilities in two retirement plans it provides to its employees. Plaintiffs brought the suit against TIAA in October 2015, claiming their plans...

Merrill Lynch will allow IRA commissions in some circumstances under DOL fiduciary rule

May 11, 2017

Merrill Lynch will allow advisers to receive commissions from some transactions in individual retirement accounts under the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, the company announced Thursday, backing off a hardline position against commissions...

Private equity adds fuel to 401(k) record-keeper consolidation

May 11, 2017

Just as 401(k) record keepers cry poverty, claiming there are no profit margins left and fueling consolidation, private equity has jumped in, perhaps seeing value that traditional record keepers are missing. What's causing this consolidation...

Retirement taxes are not for sissies

May 11, 2017

You may have heard the saying "old age is not for sissies." Well, neither are taxes when it comes to figuring out how an extra dollar of retirement income can boost taxable income by three times that amount. "Taxes are a critical piece in retirement...

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